According to the NAS - the National Association of Shoplifters - there is no noticeable slowdown in the rate of the decline in the British economy.
Their spokesman, Nobby "Fingers" Knoqueoff explains:
"According to research amongst our members, it appears that even those with no intention of paying are not buying goods.
"Unfortunately, with the increase in the cost of petrol and running a car, and the price increases on the way on public transport, it has come to the stage where our members can't afford to travel to out of town shopping centres to shoplift.
"Only the other week I had a report from a member in Chelmsford who had been reduced to shoplifting from a charity shop which was the sole remaining shop on the local estate where she lives. This was down to the fact that she couldn't afford the bus-fare into town.
"I have also had reports that those of our members who can afford to travel to city centres are refusing to shoplift from the top high street names because their perpetual half-price and summer sales are so full of specially brought-in tat and sub-standard goods that are not worth the trouble."